Software Slump Hurts Novell

The company reported a 4Q net loss of $109 million as software revenue fell 25% from the year-ago quarter.



Novell on Thursday posted quarterly earnings that showed a widening net loss, thanks in large part to software sales that were down 25% from last year.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, Novell reported a net loss of $109 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with $91.7 million, or 25 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $286.7 million from $300.3 million.

Software revenue fell 25% to $70.5 million, down from $94.3 million a year ago, while maintenance and services revenue rose 5%, to $216.2 million from $206 million.

Novell has made two high-profile acquisitions in recent months to stem the losses and bring in new software revenue. In August, it bought Ximian, a maker of desktop and server software for Linux systems. Shortly after the close of the quarter, Novell agreed to acquire SuSE Linux, a supplier of Linux software and services.

For the full fiscal year, Novell posted a net loss of $162 million, or 44 cents per share, on revenue of $1.1 billion. That's an improvement from 2002's net loss of $247 million, or 68 cents per hare, also on revenue of $1.1 billon.

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